Archive: A postcard from the Edge.

A postcard from the Edge.

So I’m going through old text files and I find a letter I wrote to wife hundreds upon hundreds of years ago, shortly after we first met on the Carmen Sandiego forum. It looks like it was once a wrapped txt file, possibly converted from wordperfect or works. The surreal thing about it, aside from the fact that I married the hell out this person, is how I perceived myself so close to the edge of where my memory fades. I’m surprised how much I knew of myself so early on, and how much I would learn. For example, this was written just as my depression began to take over. I still saw it as a winter thing. I also attributed my alien status to my IQ, which I now feel has nothing to do with it.

Kidman! Little did I know that my history with Kidman would consume me a week later.

On the other hand, my Mary-Sue character, Kidman, I described as seeming autistic, and the concept of erasure of childhood was already suspect, though the total realization was still a year away.

And the name I signed as is hilarious.


Feb 23, 1998

Dear Renee (Seldavia),

I must tell you that in my long time affiliated with Laurie’s page, I never matched up quite as well as I matched up with you. At first I believed that I was the only Carmen lover out there. Then I found Laurie. I believed for two years that she was the Carmenite that I was destined to meet to talk of things that I never could talk to anybody about before. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Now being on the forum, I have learned the many shades of gray that Carmenites can come in. Before you, I was relatively alone.

I have to admit fully and honestly that I aspire to your work. I often wondered how a story could have such detail, such thought. The characters were well formed and the situations very real, it was a real relief to read. Then I found that you where an epic writer like myself, and it was a great thing to know. As I watched the others praise “Retribution”, I felt a bit lost until I saw that you too could see the obvious flaws in character and story. I needed to make contact you. And so we attempted to trade story ideas over the phone. When I learned of your cosmopolitan mind set, and your liking of good, if not startlingly grand books, I felt very happy.

I just thought I should share that with you. When ever I have a compliment to give, I always take the opportunity without shame. You might notice I do that a lot in the forum. I believe that nothing bad can come of it and does somebody else good.

I suppose I should tell you a little about myself, in turn maybe you could tell me a little more about yourself. I am just as Kidman was described, a wisp. I’m a slight 5’2″ and weigh just 97lbs. My hair is naturally sun bleached and is near platinum white, as is chin length. I have gray eyes. Something you might be interested in knowing is that my IQ is 147, though I usually don’t give it out. Because of it I am able to absorb vast amounts of information at a time and store it indefinitely. I am forever trying to gain respect both on the forum and in real life, that I am not just an insane idiot, but an intellect.

I’m beginning to feel that the IQ is bearing some usefulness now that I’m trying to write through the eyes of a woman with the logic and knowledge of one with the IQ of 200. It is no easy task. Please don’t think of me any differently. I’m just like everybody else! I don’t even get straight A’s!(I’m not so good with Stat-Trig) I’m a regular Joe. (This is why I try not to say what my IQ is, but I figure it won’t do any damage to tell you).

Actually, I like art. I live in the Metropolitan Museum! I’m also an artist myself. I act, write, draw, sculpt, sing and most of all, dream. We both do. It’s how our stories began. I also like Anime (Though until now I used the phrase, Japanmation) and MST3K. I can be compared to 7 of 9 in Next Generation when I talk philosophy. (I’ll get into that later) I love the Simpsons and those British comedies they have on the air sometimes.

And I love to eat.

Yes, I take great advantage of the fact that my metabolism is that of a runaway truck.:-) It is three years later and I am STILL 97 lbs. I don’t even way enough to use a pogo stick! (That’s really sad)

Anyway, that’s as much about me as anyone would want to know. In real life? I’m the village freak. I’m outlandish when I wish to be, which is usually the case. I like trying to cheer people up, make them less stressful.

You wished to know about Kidman?

In brief, the story is about a girl who’s memory is erased when she accidentally crosses dimensions. Stripped of sense and logic, she gullibly believes a group of drug dealers when they say they work for Carmen and that their boss hates her for her insolence. She never quite can comprehend that Carmen never hated her, for it was the first thing she learned when she was “born”.

Kidman’s character? As of now she is so many things. Like your character Ambassador Seldavia, Kidman is connected to all sides. She is completely entranced by the human species that she is not a part of. Though Kidman is working for Carmen, she has never actually stolen anything. She is not a thief at heart.

She has many faces, most of them silent.

(I’ve never tried to explain her before so please bare with me!)

Those who have never seen her before would pass her off as a pathetic insolent weakling.

The media sees her as embodiment of all that is good and as an angelic savior.

War lords of force see her as a potential tool of mass destruction.

War lords of genius see her as an enigma

Those that have seen what she can do are forever awed.

Some are nonbelievers

Most are shocked by her stark view of humanity.

Some believe she is worthless, Kidman included.

Those who are her comrades know better. She is almost autistic in that she appears sometimes unable to express herself correctly. She is of another kind, trying to understand why humanity does what it does through the eyes of an outsider. Her mind being erased, she is untouched by human upbringing, and so is not as conditioned to think in the colors of anyone else. Living beside one of the most brilliant minds the world has to offer, Kidman learns the ways of a wise one.

She is bombarded with so many experiences that in her three years she feels she has lived a lifetime. She is an intellect, and has had much knowledge passed down into her hands from Carmen

But most of this does not affect Kidman. She is ever impassive.

So many times an assassin will aim his gun at her and she will nothing more than stare at him. To see Kidman panic is a rare thing. Not because she’s fearless, only because she’s not sure what panic is.

The image of Kidman by the outside world is mixed, most seeing her as a cold, impassive being of massive power. But sometimes she falls into a human state into which she acts as a sassy young thief like the rest of her comrades. It was how she should have been if she had never been touched by Chaos or depression.  Kidman swings between the two most of the time, falling in as the witty sidekick of the Master Carmen Sandiego, delivering an enlightening remark or cold logic when she feels it necessary.

How does she relate to me?

Trying to bring the mental capacity of Carmen up closer and closer to what it should be has thoroughly stretched my mind out farther than it should be. Hence, I have evolved with the characters. What ever is not used for Carmen’s personality falls back into Kidman, and what ever evolves through Kidman, evolves through me. It is almost like a second simulation, living a secondary life and inadvertently learning from it.

As for the 7 of 9esk train of thought, ever since I was very young, I thought of myself as something other than human. I never acted like anyone else, never saw things the way others have. Call it my IQ, which I think has nothing to do with it, or just that each is created differently, but I never was the same. I would never separate myself from this race though, it is a magnificent species and Kidman shares the same view. Kidman loves to look inside

of people and so do I.

I’m not as alien or confused as Kidman, nor would I do half the things she does. The depression she has had nothing to do with me except for in mid-winter when I fall victim to S.A.D. The winter experience helps me write that part of Kidman. The solemn sadness it offers certainly adds to a story. As for the love of Carmen, yes that is true, but Carmen to Carmen may vary, depending on the person your speaking to.

Seldavia, I have yet to really meet your Carmen, but because you are an epic writer, you have had a long period of time to work and rework your Carmen into something grand. I can see it already, which is why I’m quick to point out every time you drop a hint in a chapter on the forum so the rest may see. I’m very impressed!

They have strange names like Zstat4 to keep other people out of them. I’m going to have to train myself to write shorter letters so I can send more of them. As for the letters you have sent me, yes, I would be honored to illustrate Khisondhanna. You are the first person to ask me! I do want to meet you someday. I’ll send you a picture of myself as soon as I can.

Write back very soon!


Anitalia von Knipping

PS I was beginning to think. Maybe when I’m in collage we can meet and go overseas! I was reading this book on Thailand when the idea hit. Ah, that would be great. Give me an idea what country you would like try. Not saying it’s going to happen, but it’s a nice thing to think about.

I do want to meet you.:)



  • Carmelena-Capriella Machevelli I think one of the best things I’ve had the chance to witness was the beginning of this. It’s one of those things that I use to cheer myself up when I’m convinced that everything I’ve managed to do is make a total mess of things in my life. It’s amazing as to how we see ourselves when we have the chance to peruse the past. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have myself back! Except that pushy manic way too talkative part that somehow managed to survive when little else did.
    You remember that little collective? I used to get all happy when it would update. True story. I could be at my worst, and then I would see that and suddenly I found I could smile.
    Always loved the both of you, even more than chocolate 🙂
  • Anie Knipping 🙂
    I’m glad it had a witness, because sometimes I wonder if I imagined the whole thing. God, I would never want that me back. I was at the top of the roller-coaster and about to take a long, hard fall into oblivion. It’s creepy reading this, because I can see hints of my impending doom all over it.
    As for the collective, guess what I’m currently editing?:-) It’s been making me rather Carmeny as of late. If only we had never lost that chapter…
  • Carmelena-Capriella Machevelli That’s awesome to hear that you are editing it! I did notice the Carmenesque tone some of the posts have taken on as of late. Yeah, sometimes things happen to fic and it sucks when you can’t recover it. Just went through that myself when my little laptop was stolen back in August. I can only hope that the redneck hellions who took it are absolutely mystified and educated by my rampant rants of yaoi!

    I think that part of me feels that I would be better off to get the old me back, but that might be wishful thinking on my part. After my last stay in the hospital several years back and being forced to live like a zombie…I’ve had to fight just to function on some wavelength of normality, and that’s not even every day. I agreed to the treatment to stay out of long term hospitalization out of state, It’s hard to regain yourself once you lose everything, but I only had one direction left to go. I’ve been working on it a few years, and I gain a little here and there, slowly but surely 🙂

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